To Kill a Mockingbird: Scene Analysis

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An important scene found in the movie To Kill A Mockingbird is a scene concerning Mr. Tate recoiling upon the outcaste, Boo Radley, and unraveling a new perception of friendship. Atticus Finch (played by Gregory Peck), his daughter Jean-Louise Finch, also known as Scout (played by Mary Badham), and Boo Radley (played by Robert Duvall) all play an important role in the scene. As scout relates what had happened, she notices a man in the corner of the bedroom behind the door. She identifies the mysterious man as the one who grabbed Mr. Ewell and carried Jem home when she says, "Why, there he is Mr. Tate. He can tell you his name . . ." The sheriff, Mr. Tate, moves the bedroom door revealing in the light a frightened, gentle, and pale Boo Radley. And as he conveys a loving look, Scout gazes at him and smiles. In the meanwhile, Atticus had already introduced Scout to Boo. Then, Scout and Boo hold hands and walk over to the side of Jem's bed.

The challenge of taking a novel and translating it into film falls into the work of the screenwriter. The Academy Award winning screenplay was faithfully adapted by screenwriter Horton Foote from the 1960 novel of the same name, To Kill A Mockingbird. For the most part, Foote utilizes Harper Lee's words. There is, however, one noticeable formality seen in the movie and not in the book. This formality takes place when Boo appears and Atticus states, "Miss Jean-Louise . . ." Her name does not appear this way in the book but does in the movie in order to exert a certain idealistic fervor of the Finch household that belongs in every household that adults should be respectful and well-spoken.

A screenplay is entirely useless unless if there are actors to bring it to life. When Mary Badham leans against the bedpost and wraps her hands around it, she is implying that, at least at first, there is reason for Scout to fear Boo. But then Mary Badham puts her hand out towards Boo effectively inviting him back into society. And when the...
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